Twitter makes sharing even easier

While Twitter can be an effective affiliate marketing platform, it does come with its own challenges – namely, the 140-character limit of Twitter messages. While this is often enough to inform followers of a quick thought or feeling, if marketers are trying to share links or engage consumers, it may be not enough.

While the social network hasn’t raised the character limit, Twitter announced a new feature that many affiliate marketers have been eagerly anticipating – an automated link shortener. Previously, marketers had to use third-party link shorteners, such as or, to fit links into tweets.

While this system worked, consumers often avoided clicking links – because the domain name URL was hidden, clicking a link could lead to an affiliate’s blog or to a virus-laden website. With the new system, a truncated version of the link will be shown so users will at least be able to determine the domain name of the website they are about to visit.

Unfortunately, there is one downside to the new linking system – no analytics. Sites such as could tell an affiliate marketer where all their traffic was coming from. If he or she used the same link in all of their marketing campaigns, the analytics program would be able to determine where traffic originated and when consumers had clicked the link.

As Search Engine Watch recently observed, clicking links is a vital part of Twitter communication. As Twitter’s president of Global Revenue Adam Bain noted, 80 percent of Twitter engagement is though clicking links, with retweets and replies making up the remaining 20 percent. This highlights how important it is for Twitter to finally have a reliable link shortening system in place.

“What we’re seeing is that people are using Twitter to instantly connect with things that are most meaningful for them,” Bain told CNN Money.

As Twitter continues to grow, it is becoming an increasingly invaluable marketing tool for affiliates. The social network has more than 200 million members, but unlike Facebook, users don’t have to be registered to follow someone, so Twitter’s actual reach could be even greater. Affiliates should be posting links to their blogs and websites as well as cross promoting their other marketing efforts.

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